ooooh the junk food! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh. my. goodness. we eat so much junk! we NEED to clean up our diets. i used to eat good, wholesome healthy foods- and i fed them to my first dd. then dh came along and spoiled everything . he was raised a junk- food- aholic and has a very hard time with eating healthy foods. i have awful willpower, so once the foods were being brought into the house, i started eating them. i want to get back to eating healthy, and dh has agreed to give it a try (after finding out from his dr at the last appt that his bp is high). i also don't want dd2, who is a year old and just beginning to eat solids, to pick up our habits. our biggest issue right now is snacking. we eat a lot of sugar, crackers, and chips. dh has a fast food addiction as well. how did you former junk foodies clean up your acts? we need ideas for snacks and quick meals especially. i want to get pg in another year or so, and i don't want to go through another pregnancy drained because i'm loading up on sugar and refined stuff all day. eek! oh, are there any good books out there i should check out? any websites, ect. are welcome too!

Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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#2 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 02:52 AM
 
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I read an article about fructose and how horrible it is. Since we've cut out fructose I have felt less groggy, more energized and I don't crave sugar anymore. If I am confronted with sugar I have a much easier time saying no! I have been drinking more water and doing light exercise. I put on a smaller pair of jeans today!
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#3 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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I know a lot of people that have cut out the fast food after viewing a couple documentaries like Food, Inc. If you do some research about the foods you are currently consuming - where they come from - what they do to your body, you will likely find it much easier to resist them. And, a crock pot can be your best friend for a quick and satisfying meal!
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#4 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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Michael Pollan's "Food Rules" Fantastic book. It's a guide about what to eat. He said you can eat junk food as long as you make it yourself (because it'll be healthier and you won't make it as often because it's work). So we eat french fries, donuts, coffeecake, etc. but it's not very often, and I know exactly what's in it. Stop bringing in food that's already made (processed food). Buy ingredients. Then you know what you're getting. You could do it in steps: first, change your drinks (like if you drink soda, switch to seltzer and a little oj, or if you drink things with artificial sweeteners, just take them out completely). Cut up a whole bunch of veggies at once (carrot/celery sticks) so there's something to munch on (dip in yogurt with some spices or guacamole or peanut butter). Make your own salad dressing. Make your own pizza (make it a family: do it yourself night). What kind of things do you normally eat and we can brainstorm some healthier alternatives...

what do you normally eat for breakfast?
lunch?
dinner?
desserts?
snacks?

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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#5 of 15 Old 03-24-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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Snacks: I keep yogurt, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds (just sunflower, because those are what we like), and cheese in the house. I try to keep crackers, chips, etc. out (although I do cave on Miss Vickies Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar sometimes). If they're not there, we don't eat them.

So, if someone here wants a snack, the quickest "go to" options are nuts/seeds, dried fruit or an apple or banana. Yogurt and cheese are also available. My kids think "fruit" or "nuts' when they hear "snack", honestly...except my teenager, who looks at a pantry full of nuts, seeds, etc, and a fridge full of fruit, yogurt and cheese, and says, "why don't we ever have anything to snack on around here?" *sigh*

Oh - and popcorn. I like popcorn. I got fed up with air poppers, so pop it on the stove, with a bit of coconut oil. Yummy.

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#6 of 15 Old 03-25-2010, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the snack ideas! i'm pretty sure people will eat things if i prepare them ahead of time and leave them out. i cut up some veggies earlier with some cheese and dip and it was gone within the hour. the guac is a great idea for dip too (i'm an avocado freak). dh has seen all the movies on fast food and read the books and he still loves it. i'm sure he will always buy it when i'm not around, but if i can get him eating healthier at home at least that's something. i do all the grocery shopping, which is a good thing. i can start putting a list together for this weekend. i know dh will be supportive at first, i'm just not sure how long he'll make it. i know i can do it because i used to eat pretty healthfully, i just need to get all the junk out of my system, and that can be a hard thing to do in this household.

Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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#7 of 15 Old 03-25-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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My DH is also a junk food junkie
We keep a "clean" house, so we have an agreement that he eats that crap when he is not home. DH does enjoy healthy homecooked meals though, so it's not a problem getting him to eat it, he just wants to follow it up with a 1/2 of a bag of Doritos
I have tried SO hard to clean up my eating a few years ago, because I didn't want my kids to grow up that way. We DO have treats, like a PP said, I make them, so I know what is in them, and they are a "treat" because I have my hands full cooking the rest of the meals (from scratch doesn't necessarily mean time consuming, I just LOVE to cook, so I probably choose more labor intensive things out of fun ). The majority of our snacks are apples, cheese, cut veggies, nut butter on toast, hummus, boiled eggs, with the occasional homemade cookie or muffin.

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#8 of 15 Old 03-25-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Oh, yeah - hummus. I haven't made any in a while, and dd1 doesn't like it, but ds2 and I really enjoy it on rice cakes. (Okay - I enjoy a rice cake with hummus. DS2 enjoys licking hummus off rice cakes. Whatever works.)

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#9 of 15 Old 03-25-2010, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just put in a big amazon fresh order so we'll see how this goes over! lol. i think there's enough junk here already that we'll sort of be weaning off of it until its gone.

Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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#10 of 15 Old 03-25-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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You should read Real Food and Real Food for Mother and Baby (by Nina Planck)-- both will give you the inspiration to eat better.

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#11 of 15 Old 03-26-2010, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
You should read Real Food and Real Food for Mother and Baby (by Nina Planck)-- both will give you the inspiration to eat better.
thanks i'll check them out!

Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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#12 of 15 Old 03-26-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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I agree that finding out, in detail, what those foods do to your body has been a huge help for me. I admit, I was never a true junk food addict, but I loved certain junk foods and for years tried to keep myself from them by thinking they'd make me gain weight. And it was a struggle.

Once I realized it wasn't just about weight gain, but heart disease, cancer, diabetes (and not just because those foods make people fat, but because they actually metabolize differently) it was a no-brainer for me. And having kids to protect from those diseases has really helped, too. If I don't want my kids eating it, I can't have it in the house...so I don't eat it!

The books PP mentioned are great, plus "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. He makes it very clear what refined crap does to your body.

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#13 of 15 Old 03-26-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Even though I'm no kind of strict Traditional Foods mama and never will be, I found several traditional foods-type books to be very, very useful for enlarging my ideas about how/what/when to eat for meals and snacks. Nourishing Traditions by Fallon is a huge hippie tome that's just fun to read, Real Food by Planck is shorter and more relevant to the typical 21st-century lifestyle.

To keep the eating in this house reasonably healthy, I:

* avoid buying chips, crackers, cookies, and any sort of food or beverage containing HFCS. I also avoid juice and soda for me and the kids, not because I think juice and soda are Always Evil, but because they add calories we don't need and cut into the amount of water we drink in a day.

*have a "snack basket" for the kids with apples, bananas and organic granola bars. In addition to raisins or strawberries or sunflower seeds or whatever else we might happen to have on hand at any given time, these are the only snack choices.

* bake cookies and bread to satisfy our yen for carbs. I am still trying eliminate the purchase of storebought bread for sandwiches, but it's hard to give up that convenience. So I buy Nature's Own, which is very reasonably priced at Costco and has no HFCS.

* serve a rotation of simple dinners - pasta, beans and rice, grilled chicken/steak, accompanied by salad or frozen veggies. I hate to cook, and I'm bad at it. So simple is what works for us. And no dessert as a regular thing.

* source my milk, eggs and meat from local farmers as much as possible. It takes a while to make the connection with the right people (good prices, convenient pickup location, flavor/texture of meat that meets family expectations), but it's soooooo worth it. I grow produce and visit the farmer's market in the summer and buy some produce locally in other seasons, but the price/quality comparison with industrial organics leads me to buy organic frozen veggies pretty often in the off-season.

My husband, who works at home, eats an exceedingly boring diet of frozen minestrone soup that I make by the crockpot-full every couple of weeks, fruit, coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper (yuck) and whatever I make for dinner. If there is a cookie or cracker in this house, he will find it and gorge himself on it. If there's not, he does fine without it.

The kids and I love fast food, and so we go through the drive-through sometimes. I've decided not to agonize about that, and just try to minimize the junk in the house.

I'd say the first big step in changing one's food lifestyle is to have a SHORTER grocery list. But the ingredients for the dinners you plan to cook that week, milk, eggs, cereal, bread, sandwich fixings and several healthy snack items such as fruit, and nothing else! You will find yourself skipping whole store aisles.

Sorry to write War and Peace here, this is a favorite topic of mine.
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#14 of 15 Old 03-26-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
To keep the eating in this house reasonably healthy, I:

* avoid buying chips, crackers, cookies, and any sort of food or beverage containing HFCS. I also avoid juice and soda for me and the kids, not because I think juice and soda are Always Evil, but because they add calories we don't need and cut into the amount of water we drink in a day.

I'd say the first big step in changing one's food lifestyle is to have a SHORTER grocery list. But the ingredients for the dinners you plan to cook that week, milk, eggs, cereal, bread, sandwich fixings and several healthy snack items such as fruit, and nothing else! You will find yourself skipping whole store aisles.


Totally agree! I buy a lot of food each week (for my big eating family of five) but the actual grocery list is short (eggs, variety of veggies, fruit, meats/fish, milk, cheese, bread, peanut butter). I rarely go in the actual aisles of the grocery store - except for organic granola bars and graham crackers (which are my kids only carby snack). So a SHORT grocery list keeps it simple and limits the choices.

If I have ANY junk food in the house, my kids will mostly choose that as their snack (versus fruit, for example). After my mom visits (she brings junk with her for the kids ), they always ask for more of that stuff, but once it's not in the house, they stop griping after a day or two and just straight up ask for apple w/peanut butter, etc. for a snack. I think kids are the easiest converts, as long as you stick to your guns.

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#15 of 15 Old 03-26-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Even though I'm no kind of strict Traditional Foods mama and never will be, I found several traditional foods-type books to be very, very useful for enlarging my ideas about how/what/when to eat for meals and snacks. Nourishing Traditions by Fallon is a huge hippie tome that's just fun to read, Real Food by Planck is shorter and more relevant to the typical 21st-century lifestyle.

To keep the eating in this house reasonably healthy, I:

* avoid buying chips, crackers, cookies, and any sort of food or beverage containing HFCS. I also avoid juice and soda for me and the kids, not because I think juice and soda are Always Evil, but because they add calories we don't need and cut into the amount of water we drink in a day.

*have a "snack basket" for the kids with apples, bananas and organic granola bars. In addition to raisins or strawberries or sunflower seeds or whatever else we might happen to have on hand at any given time, these are the only snack choices.

* bake cookies and bread to satisfy our yen for carbs. I am still trying eliminate the purchase of storebought bread for sandwiches, but it's hard to give up that convenience. So I buy Nature's Own, which is very reasonably priced at Costco and has no HFCS.

* serve a rotation of simple dinners - pasta, beans and rice, grilled chicken/steak, accompanied by salad or frozen veggies. I hate to cook, and I'm bad at it. So simple is what works for us. And no dessert as a regular thing.

* source my milk, eggs and meat from local farmers as much as possible. It takes a while to make the connection with the right people (good prices, convenient pickup location, flavor/texture of meat that meets family expectations), but it's soooooo worth it. I grow produce and visit the farmer's market in the summer and buy some produce locally in other seasons, but the price/quality comparison with industrial organics leads me to buy organic frozen veggies pretty often in the off-season.

My husband, who works at home, eats an exceedingly boring diet of frozen minestrone soup that I make by the crockpot-full every couple of weeks, fruit, coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper (yuck) and whatever I make for dinner. If there is a cookie or cracker in this house, he will find it and gorge himself on it. If there's not, he does fine without it.

The kids and I love fast food, and so we go through the drive-through sometimes. I've decided not to agonize about that, and just try to minimize the junk in the house.

I'd say the first big step in changing one's food lifestyle is to have a SHORTER grocery list. But the ingredients for the dinners you plan to cook that week, milk, eggs, cereal, bread, sandwich fixings and several healthy snack items such as fruit, and nothing else! You will find yourself skipping whole store aisles.

Sorry to write War and Peace here, this is a favorite topic of mine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
Totally agree! I buy a lot of food each week (for my big eating family of five) but the actual grocery list is short (eggs, variety of veggies, fruit, meats/fish, milk, cheese, bread, peanut butter). I rarely go in the actual aisles of the grocery store - except for organic granola bars and graham crackers (which are my kids only carby snack). So a SHORT grocery list keeps it simple and limits the choices.

If I have ANY junk food in the house, my kids will mostly choose that as their snack (versus fruit, for example). After my mom visits (she brings junk with her for the kids ), they always ask for more of that stuff, but once it's not in the house, they stop griping after a day or two and just straight up ask for apple w/peanut butter, etc. for a snack. I think kids are the easiest converts, as long as you stick to your guns.

Both of these were GREAT posts!

I totally agree, we are a family of 6 and I buy lots of just a few things.

Today for instance I bought 2 OFR chickens, 2 big containers of organic baby spinach, lots of vine ripe tomatoes, 2 bags of organic apples, one pack of flax pita (for me...I dip them in warm hummus with evoo ) 2 loaves of healthy no HFCS bread and some yogurt (I've never tried to make my own...probably never will..haha) It cost me around $50. Other things I would need to round out the meal, I keep on hand from a big buy I do at the bulk foods place once a month.(cheese, flour, yeast, oats, cornmeal, spices, dried beans, rice...etc.) Also whenever there is a good deal on organic frozen veggies, I fill the deep freeze. Local milk, meat and eggs are the rest. My only trips to the store are like today for perishables.

The PPs have it right, sticking to the outside edges of the store, and sticking to a short list are definitely the way to go.

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